BUSHIDO (Japanese for "military-knight-ways"), the unwritten code of laws governing the lives of the nobles of Japan, equivalent to the European chivalry. Its maxims have been orally handed down, together with a vast accumulation of traditional etiquette, the result of centuries of feudalism. Its inception is associated with the uprise of feudal institutions under Yoritomo, the first of the Shoguns, late in the 12th century, but bushido in an undeveloped form existed before then. The samurai or nobles of Japan entertained the highest respect for truth. "A bushi has no second word" was one of their mottoes. And their sense of honour was so high as to dictate suicide where it was offended.
See Inazo Nitobe, Bushido: The Soul of Japan (1905); also Japan: Army.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)